I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life, including jumping out of a plane. But little did I know, I would one day be the one flying the plane!! My boyfriend and I are always looking for new adventures and cool things to do as a couple. Not sure how, but he talked me into taking an introductory flight lesson with the Swiss Flying Club.
Each introductory or “trial” lesson includes about 30 minutes’ flight time by air, proceeded by a briefing to receive feedback about the flight and a deeper explanation into the training courses for private or commercial pilot certification.
The session begins with pairing each student with an instructor, then inspecting the exterior of the aircraft. This “pre-check” is mandatory to ensure the aircraft is fueled properly and that there are so visible damages.
Next, you and the instructor hop inside the cabin as he/she explains the interior of the aircraft. There were so many screens, buttons, switches, bows and whistles, it’s helpful to know exactly which ones to pay attention to. The instructor then gives you a briefing on how to control the altitude and steer the plane. After the briefing, we pushed the plane back, and hit the runway!
While in the air, my instructor taught me an important technique known as “trimming”. The purpose of trimming is to free the pilot from having to exert a constant pressure on the controls. This is often used to maintain straight and level flight; however, trimming can also be used at any phase of flight – for example to maintain a constant rate of climb or descent. It was my challenge to trim and maintain an altitude of 32,000 feet.
As if this wasn’t terrifying enough, my instructor then proceeded to do dramatic nose dives over Lake Lucerne and I nearly lost my lunch! Then, it was my turn to do the same: quickly nose dive, then regain control and climb back to the ideal altitude.
We flew over the cities and lakes of Lucerne and Zug, the summits of Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi. The views were breathtaking. After 45 minutes, it was time to head back to the air field. And guess who got to land the plane? You guessed it – Me!
All in all, I survived and it was the best experience ever. Was it terrifying? Yes. Was it thrilling? Hell yes! Will I go back to get my pilot certification? Maybe. For now, I’m happy with leaving the clear & friendly skies to the professionals.
Trial flight lessons at the Swiss Flying Club start at 249 CHF. If you are interested in booking an introductory flight lesson or have questions, please contact the club via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWISS Flying Club 8915 Hausen am Albis Switzerland Telephone +41 (0) 44 500 11 56 http://www.swissflyingclub.ch/